The Spellmans Strike Again (Lisa Lutz)

The Spellmans Strike Again is the fourth novel in the Spellman Series by Lisa Lutz.
Finished on: 18.8.2020
[Here are my reviews of the rest of the series.]

Plot:
Izzy Spellman has finally agreed to take over the family business, but so far nothing has changed all that much. Izzy is still trying to dig up dirt on Rick Harkey, the other PI in San Francisco and a known bastard. Her parents are still doing strange things like forcing Izzy to go on dates with lawyers (despite her boyfriend Connor) and ignoring that small items like door handles keep disappearing from the house. Rae has found something new to obsess about: freeing innocent prisoners. And Henry? Henry tries to be friends with Izzy again but Izzy isn’t sure she is ready for that. Oh, and of course, there is also an actual case Izzy is working on.

The Spellmans Strike Again is a great addition to the Spellman series that I’ve been reading with continuous joy and some heartbreak. We definitely get both here.

The book cover showing many keys next to each other so they are forming a grate with two hands clutching the bars.

[SPOILERS]

Continue reading

Revenge of the Spellmans (Lisa Lutz)

Revenge of the Spellmans is the third novel in the Spellman Series by Lisa Lutz.
Finished on: 19.4.2020
[Here are my reviews of the rest of the series.]

Plot:
Izzy Spellman has turned her back on the family business and has been working as a bartender for a few months now, while attending court-mandated therapy. But her therapy is nearing its end (and Izzy definitely doesn’t want to continue longer than she has to), her parents still hope that she will take over the family detective agency, her friend and boss Milo asks her to take on a very simple case for a friend and also fires her. Plus, there is something going on with both her brother David and her sister Rae, and Henry Stone has a new girfriend. Moving into her brother’s basement apartment without his knowledge may not be the only thing that is costing Izzy sleep, but the biggest question is if she can get to a halfway stable place and make important decisions.

Revenge of the Spellmans is again entertaining and funny, but it also has a more serious emotional core here than the first two novels. It worked beautifully and grounded the series in an important way, I thought.

The book cover in yellow with the title and author's name in brightly colored, big letters. There's also a drawing of binoculars in the glasses of which you can see a pair of eyes.
Continue reading

Curse of the Spellmans (Lisa Lutz)

Curse of the Spellmans is the second novel in the Spellman Series by Lisa Lutz.
Finished on: 7.1.2020
[Here’s my review of the first novel.]

Plot:
Private Detective Izzy Spellman has been arrested for the fourth time in three months and she may think it was unavoidable in the course of her duty, but her parents and employers do not. And her neighbor – whom she has been running unsanctioned but, in Izzy’s eyes, entirely necessary surveillance on – isn’t amused either. That would probably be enough to keep her busy, but with a family like Izzy’s there’s never just one thing going on and there are several family members who behave in very suspicious ways. Plus, Izzy has to make sure that her little sister Rae doesn’t overstay her welcome in police inspector Henry Stone’s life.

Curse of the Spellmans is a great sequel, keeping the energy and sense of humor of the first novel, but also managing to introduce new elements. I really enjoyed coming back to the Spellmans.

Continue reading

Re-Read: The Spellman Files (Lisa Lutz)

The Spellman Files is the first novel in the Spellman Series by Lisa Lutz.
Finished on: 31.12.2019
[Here’s my first review.]

Plot:
After a rough youth, Izzy Spellman has found her perfect job, her calling: she’s a private investigator to her very core. The only drawback is that it’s the family business. Her parents are private investigators. Her little sister Rae is only fourteen but already training very hard to be one. Only her brother chose a different way to go: he became a lawyer – and a perfectly law-abiding one at that. But when Izzy’s parents set Rae to spy on Izzy (to find out the identity of her new boyfriend), Izzy has had it with the other Spellmans and she leaves the agency and her home. But when Rae goes missing, she can’t stay away anymore.

The Spellman Files were a pleasant surprise discovery for me and when I learned that it was actually the first novel in a series, it was an even better surprise. But it took me a while to get the other books in the series, so I decided to re-read the first one before getting around to the others. And even on the second go-through, it’s the perfect holiday read in the absolute best way.

The book cover showing a stylized detective with a  magnifying glass.
Continue reading

The Spellman Files (Lisa Lutz)

The Spellman Files is the first novel in the Spellman Series by Lisa Lutz.
Finished on: 26.1.2017

Plot:
After a rough youth, Izzy Spellman has found her perfect job, her calling: she’s a private investigator to her very core. The only drawback is that it’s the family business. Her parents are private investigators. Her little sister Rae is only fourteen but already training very hard to be one. Only her brother chose a different way to go: he became a lawyer – and a perfectly law-abiding one at that. But when Izzy’s parents set Rae to spy on Izzy (to find out the identity of her new boyfriend), Izzy has had it with the other Spellmans and she leaves the agency and her home. But when Rae goes missing, she can’t stay away anymore.

I remember grabbing the book from a second hand shop bargain bin quite on a whim. It’s been sitting on my shelf for a long time, and every once in a while I would take it up and wonder why I bought it in the first place – it just isn’t what I usually read. This spring I moved, and I figured, I’d start reading the book to see whether it would make the move with me. And I have to say that I was absolutely pleasantly surprised. The Spellman Files is funny and fast-paced and an entertaining delight to read.

Continue reading